On Thursday 25 May 25 National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration updated the previous hurricane forecast which predicted a below average hurricane season an above normal season.
The hurricane season began on Thursday 1 June and will end on November 30. According to the new update from the NOAA’s Climate Prediction Center there is a 45 percent chance of an above-normal season, a 35 percent chance of a near-normal season, and only a 20 percent chance of a below-normal season.
The new forecast predicts a 70 percent likelihood of 11 to 17 named storms (winds of 39 mph or higher), of which 5 to 9 could become hurricanes (winds of 74 mph or higher), including 2 to 4 major hurricanes (Category 3, 4 or 5; winds of 111 mph or higher).
The forecast also includes Tropical Storm Arlene, a rare pre-season storm that formed over the eastern Atlantic in April.
Dr. Gerry Bell, the Lead Seasonal Hurricane Forecaster with NOAA’s Climate Prediction Center announced: “The outlook reflects our expectation of a weak or non-existent El Nino, near- or above-average sea-surface temperatures across the tropical Atlantic Ocean and Caribbean Sea, and average or weaker-than-average vertical wind shear in that same region.”
Further it was noted that more hurricane conditions are likely this season: “Strong El Nino and wind shear typically suppress development of Atlantic hurricanes, so the prediction for weak conditions points to more hurricane activity this year. Also, warmer sea surface temperatures tend to fuel hurricanes as they move across the ocean. However, the climate models are showing considerable uncertainty, which is reflected in the comparable probabilities for an above-normal and near-normal season,” the NOAA release stated.